The esports industry is booming with millions of fans tuning in to watch their favourite teams and players compete. However, till about a few years ago the industry was still in its nascency and was dominated by a select clutch of esports athletes. India lacked the infrastructure and the ecosystem for training and grooming aspiring players.
Sharang Naicker, a passionate esports professional realised that a gap existed in the market for a talent management company that specifically catered to the needs of esports talent. He believed that huge untapped talent existed in India and that esports talent needed more than just representation; they needed a team of experts who could help them develop their careers, compete at the pinnacle of esports world and become sports icons.
This thought led to the genesis of Reckoning Esports in 2016, a startup esports talent management company that is dedicated to helping esports talents reach their full potential. The firm launched its first professional team to compete in the then popular PC game ‘Defense of Ancients 2’ also known as DOTA-2. With a focused approach and by adopting pertinent gaming strategies, Reckoning Esports DOTA 2 team progressed from being ranked 150th in 2016 to 2nd best team in India in December 2018. Sharang Naicker, MD & Founder, Reckoning Esports says “We believe that esports is more than just a game; it’s a sport, a passion, and a career path for many young people. That’s why we’re committed to providing talent with the support and resources they need to succeed.”
Reckoning Esports is still a young company, but it has been able to create its mark in the industry. The firm has participated in over 170 tournaments in the past 7 years and its teams rank amongst the top 5 since the beginning of their journey. The team’s players have consistently ranked among the top in India in their respective game titles.
Reckoning Esports has a unique approach to talent scouting and grooming. They provide opportunity to top-notch unearthed talent, not only from India but also from other countries in the region. In order to de-risk and diversify their business Reckoning Esports has also diversified across PC and mobile games, which allows them to reach a wider audience and compete in a variety of tournaments.
Reckoning Esports has been committed to community engagement. The firm has been organising cross-border events, tournaments focused on developing communities, and attracting best talent to participate in its tournaments, thus offering the Indian audience an international level of ‘sportstainment’. Since its inception reckoning has organized 4 tournaments in which teams from the India and South-east Asia have participated.
Cumulatively they have garnered 14 million social media engagements and their content has been watched for a whopping 142K hours.
Reckoning Esports’ strong presence has caught the eye of corporate India which is aiming to engage with Gen Z. Reckoning recently organized Valorant Invitational Tournament for which they partnered with Tata Motors to promote their youth focused car, Tata Tiago NRG . In the past the firm has also partnered with some brands like RedBull, Lux Industries, Cooler Master, Cougar etc.
In 2020, Cooler Master became the organization’s first sponsor. In 2021, Reckoning Esports joined Facebook’s Gaming Creator Program for streaming, and became a part of the emerging esports athletes’ gameplay streaming deals in India. Consumer brand Lux Industries also partnered for promoting their athleisure brand ONN that is targeted towards youth.
In 2022, Cougar, a Taiwan-based gaming peripherals and accessories company, wanted to enter the Indian market and found Reckoning Esports to be a fitting partner for brand promotion. Loco, an India-based live streaming and esports platform, also became a sponsor in the same year. In 2023, Reckoning Esports added more sponsors to its roster, including AMD, Aorus, and FanClash.
Reckoning Esports has strong growth plans and aims to become a leading esports organisation in the APAC region. In a bid to fuel growth, the firm has raised USD 100K in funding in its first sub-round of a USD 2 million fund raise.
Sharang Naicker says, “The company is committed to providing opportunities to talented players, influencers, building a loyal, emotionally connected esports community and being conduit for consumer brands to reach the young consumers through sports-entertainment.“
Esports is at the cusp of multi-fold, multiyear exponential growth and Reckoning Esports is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth and become a name to reckon with.